How long should it take to write a blog post?
(Tell me I’m not the only one who’s googled this??)
OK, here we go!
For me, writing a blog post for for a client or my own business can sometimes seem to take forever! When I’m feeling stuck for words writing can feel like pulling teeth! But on a good day, the words flow easily, time drifts by and I don’t lose myself down the murky rabbit-hole of social media. The thing is, forever is a bloody long time, and I’ve other stuff to do, as I’m sure you do too!
So my short answer to ‘How long should it take to write a blog post?’ is, ‘it depends’. Firstly, it depends on how much time you have available. If you only have 30 minutes up your sleeve, then I’m sure you can do it. Give yourself a deadline of a week, and, well, chances are you’ll have it ready 7 days after you started. Parkinson’s Law, coined by British scholar C. Northcote Parkinson, states that ‘Work expands to fill the time available for its completion’, and ain’t that the truth!
But more importantly, I reckon the time it takes to write a blog post depends entirely on YOU.
Your confidence with writing,
Some folk can laser-focus on the task and bash out 500 words (or more!) in a 30 minute sitting, (or so they say…).
Others will make a great start only to get distracted by cat videos and forget about the piece for weeks…
Me? My style is a bit more languid; I’m a much more of a percolator. Not the coffee kind, rather I need to let an idea or half a page of content sit and brew in my brain for a bit before I come back to it. I also have a painfully short attention span/ jumpy mind/ terrible focus/ love of shiny objects. That’s just me. Sitting down for a long stretch to start and finish a piece is simply not gonna happen (although I am working on it!)
Instead, I write in short bursts, let the words sit, come back for another short burst, and so on. Working on a piece a little bit every day for 5 days works well for me. I’ve mapped out a rough guide to how this looks, as it might help you too! Perhaps for fun we should call it:
The percolators guide to writing a blog post:
First up: Create an ‘Ideas Bank’.
Set a timer for 30 minutes and brainstorm 30 ideas. (The best ideas are the intersection of what you feel PUMPED to write about, and what your readers/ potential clients are BURSTING to know). Write down your ideas and save your master list somewhere sensible. Like in an important looking folder or a computer file. Call it something snazzy that makes you feel like a productive BOSSLADY! Don’t scrawl it on the back of your 5 year old’s school excursion permission note… (as if!)
Day/ session 1.
Pick a topic from the awesome ideas list from your ‘Ideas Bank’.
Open up a fresh document and get a working title down. Try not to overthink it, you’ll fancy it up later. Start with ‘How to…’ or ‘5 ways to …’. That should get the brain ticking into gear.
What are the top 3 points of your piece? Note them down. Next, set your timer and do a 10 minute sprint here – (aka a crazy word spew of a few paragraphs). Often this initial sprint will be complete drivel and madness, but keep your fingers tapping. The mess will most certainly contain some amazing nuggets of clarity and genius for fleshing out and improving upon later. Ignore spell check, grammar etc here. Just get something down.
Phew! Take break. Take the dog for a walk.
Day/ session 2.
Look over your crazy word spew and give yourself a pat on the back. You made a start, and really, it’s not half bad, huh? Do another 2×10 minute writing sprints here, fleshing out and expanding on your top 3 points. Stick to your document today – resist the temptation to open up another tab to research an appropriate quote or find a flashier word – just write – and leave space to fill in any blanks.
Shut your document down. Treat yourself to 5 mins mindless scrolling.
Day/ session 3.
Revisit your working title. Tidy up your opening sentence. This should be short, punchy and give the reader an immediate idea what the rest of the blog post is about. (Tip: Try asking a question as your opener). Figure out 2-3 headings for your piece. Headings help to break up the text and enable ‘scanners’ to get the gist of your words without having to read the whole piece.
While you’re here, decide on the all-important call to action to end your article on. What do you want your reader to do, feel or know? Download your worksheet? Leave a comment? Have a nice day? Make it clear and easy for them to take some form of action.
Day/ session 4.
Time for the red pen, people! Now’s the time to edit your piece. Replace long, waffly sentences with succinct, sparkly words. Check for typos, spelling mistakes and grammar. Grab your dog or your least argumentative child and read your post aloud to find the right rhythm for your words. Don’t spend too long here, it’s a blog post, not a novel!
Close down your doc and buy something online. You deserve it..
Day/ session 5.
Alrighty then! Time to upload to your blog article. Find a nice image. (I like www.unsplash.com) Check your links are all a-ok. Hit publish. Write an email to promote the post to your email newsletter tribe. Share on your social media.
Phew! You did it! (me too!)
Hmmm, now what do I want YOU to do, know or feel?
First up, know that you CAN do this writing thing! Feel like a BOSS now that you have a framework for nailing your blog post creation!
And second up, know that if writing really isn’t your zone of genius, outsource it, and get on with the tasks you love. If you need a hand to get your blog posts done, get in touch, I’d love to help.